One afternoon in 1949 Dorothy Day took the ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. When she was in her twenties, she had owned a beach cottage on the island, and the ferry ride, as much as the cottage itself, had become a retreat. In the coming years it would become one again. "It is a fine sight to see the skyscrapers of Manhattan slip away astern; with them fade the cares and clangor of the city," she wrote some years later. "The salt...
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